LOS ANGELES: A US company claims to have developed the world's "smartest and safest" baby bed, in a bid to help new parents get more sleep.
The SNOO Smart Sleeper, an electronic baby bassinet, rocks from side to side and uses white noise to help babies become "better sleepers".
According to tech company Happiest Baby, which produces the crib, the gentle rocking motion helps to calm the baby and guide it to sleep.
It can also detect when the baby is crying through multiple microphones placed around the crib.
The movement and sounds of the crib are meant to mimic the womb environment and soothe newborns.
The crib is only intended for the first six months after birth, and costs US$1,160 according to the company website.
SNOO retails at US$1,160 according to its website. (Photo: Happiest Baby)
Happiest Baby was co-founded by pediatrician and child development specialist Dr Harvey Karp, who has also produced books and videos on parenting. Speaking to The Washington Post, Dr Karp said that the crib is intended to be a "helper" for parents. "This is kind of like having a night nurse or nanny," he said.
However critics have called the company out on its website claim to be the "smartest - and safest baby bed ever made". Speaking to The Washington Post, Maida Lynn Chen, director of the Pediatric Sleep Disorders Center at Seattle Children's Hospital, said that the claim was "potentially irresponsible".
“It’s not been studied long term to my knowledge. Certainly, at this point in time, I’m not aware of any scientific studies that have looked at this bed compared to any other bed,” she added.
According to child psychologist Wendy Middlemiss, it is important not to let the crib infringe on parent-child interaction. Speaking to WIRED, Ms Middlemiss said that "a lack of interaction between the parent and child would not be healthy," as a baby's crying is intended to grab a parent's attention.
“But if it’s used for that purpose of having a baby transition back to sleep when they’re not fully awake, when they haven’t signaled for attention, that’s less of a risk," she added.